Cpt Rudy Pont, as BeCA Air Safety Committee chairman was part of the expert panel at the last ECA conference to discuss Reduced Crew Operations (RCO) together with representatives of Airbus, Dassault & European Society of Aerospace Medicine (ESAM).
Maybe we can, but should we? Does RCO make sense beyond its technical feasibility?
Cpt Rudy Pont raised the pilots’ concerns:
- While a lot of accident and incident statistics document how often things go wrong, there is almost no data on when things go right, and pilots save the day. Understanding how and when human adaptivity meets day-to-day, unexpected, and undocumented challenges is key before replacing the flexible human by technology.
- Increased use of automation in commercial aircraft, and eventually certification of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the use in this environment, should have as a goal enhancement of human capacity, and not its replacement. This in return would increase efficiency and most importantly enhance Flight Safety.
Read also the ECA position paper “The Human and the concepts of Extended Minimum Crew Operations (eMCO*) and Single Pilot Operations (SiPO**)“
*eMCO: Single pilot during Cruise phase & Two pilots during Take-off & Landing
** SiPO: One pilot controlling the aircraft during whole flight